October 1, 2010 8:50 a.m. EST
Yangon, Myanmar (AHN) - An American lawmaker is blasting the military government of Myanmar for its plan to released pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi just days after the country's Nov. 7 elections, which are widely regarded as a sham by the international community.
New York's Democrat Rep. Joseph Crowley called the announcement of Suu Kyi's pending release a ploy by the Myanmar leadership to legitimize the election. He said that the world had seen the junta’s "catch and release" game several times in the past in which they promise to release Suu Kyi, who had been under house arrest since 1990, but ultimately extend her house arrest.
Crowley said that if the military junta was keen on bringing changes seriously and wants to have a fair and democratic election, they must release Suu Kyi with other political prisoners now.
"Unfortunately, the claim that they may release her is a ploy to legitimize these unfair elections, and further proof that the junta will do or say just about anything to maintain power," he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama also has also expressed doubt about the elections’ credibility although his administration started talks last year with the military regime to help bring it out of isolation.
Meanwhile, India's national security adviser Shivshankar Menon on Thursday expressed optimism about the elections and said it could be a "significant step" toward democracy. Suu Kyi’s current term of house arrest is due to expire on Nov. 13.